With most Linux distributions now days you can modify the “boot” screen. This is where you usually see a customized logo for your version of Linux and a little spinning thing to indicate the computer is doing something in the background while you wait for the login screen to enter your password.
The instructions below will assist you to change that boot up screen with an animated Earth sunrise from space using actual NASA images from the International Space Station.
This is a plymouth theme called iss-sunrise modified from another theme called space-sunrise. Gradually a sun rises with the KDE logo on it, and Earth lights up to a second ISS image. It’s quite spectacular. We assume in this tutorial you already have plymouth installed on your system. If not, time to check that out.
- Download the iss-sunrise.tar.gz by clicking the link in this sentence. Once you have the file downloaded extract the contents. It will create a directory called iss-sunrise.
- Copy this directory and it’s contents (in Ubuntu/Kubuntu) with this command:
sudo cp -r ./iss-sunrise /usr/share/plymouth/themes
- You can skip this step for later if you just want to see what it looks like, but soon you will want to modify the file
distro_name.pngwith something you like. The one included has my name on it. I used the GIMP to create it.
- Add the iss-sunrise theme to the Plymouth ‘alternatives’. This is a long line. Make sure you copy the whole thing, then paste it into a terminal.
sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/share/plymouth/themes/default.plymouth default.plymouth /usr/share/plymouth/themes/iss-sunrise/iss-sunrise.plymouth 50
- Set the iss-sunrise theme as the default.
sudo update-alternatives --config default.plymouth There are 3 choices for the alternative default.plymouth (providing /lib/plymouth/themes/default.plymouth). Selection Path Priority Status ------------------------------------------------------------ 0 /lib/plymouth/themes/kubuntu-logo/kubuntu-logo.plymouth 150 auto mode 1 /lib/plymouth/themes/iss-sunrise/iss-sunrise.plymouth 50 manual mode 2 /lib/plymouth/themes/kubuntu-logo/kubuntu-logo.plymouth 150 manual mode * 3 /lib/plymouth/themes/my-plymouth/my-plymouth.plymouth 50 manual mode Press enter to keep the current choice[*], or type selection number: 1 update-alternatives: using /usr/share/plymouth/themes/iss-sunrise/iss-sunrise.plymouth to provide /usr/share/plymouth/themes/default.plymouth (default.plymouth) in manual mode.
- Update the initramfs
sudo update-initramfs -u